On the Position Optimization of IRS

Jianyue Zhu, Yongming Huang, Jiaheng Wang, Keivan Navaie, Wei Huang, Zhiguo Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The intelligent reflecting surface (IRS) technology is emerged as an enabling technology for beyond fifth-generation systems and Internet of Things networks in which the signal propagation is reconfigured to enhance wireless system performance. IRS consists of many passive elements and each reflecting the incident signal with a certain phase shift to collectively achieve the required beamforming. The IRS is to be a low profile and lightweight setting with a conformal geometry; hence, its position can be easily engineered to achieve certain performance enhancements. In the current literature, however, the flexibility in the IRS position is often overlooked since it is considered as a given fixture. We argue that optimizing the IRS position provides a new degree of freedom in the network design and enables extra performance gain. In this article, we analytically characterize the optimal IRS's position to maximize the achievable system rate. We then obtain the optimal IRS positions for different IRS settings with fixed height and variable height and consider both cost-efficient equal phase shift IRS, and nonequal phase shift IRS that enables sophisticated beamforming. We further incorporate antenna directivity in our analysis and investigate its effect on the optimal IRS position in each case. Simulation results show that the provided optimal position yields higher performance than settings with random IRS locations. Our results provide significant practical insights on the network coverage design using the IRS.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)11712-11724
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number14
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2022


  • Equal phase shift
  • fixed-height (FH)
  • intelligent reflecting surface (IRS)
  • nonequal phase shift
  • system rate maximization
  • variable height (VH)


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